Well good morning! Welcome to Festival Church Online and thank you so much for joining us and logging on today, our first Sunday in February. Let’s pray it’s going to be a great month, in Jesus name, Amen. Well, I just want to take a very quick opportunity to say a massive thank you, a big thank you and I just want to honour all of our lead pastors. From every location from Towyn, Derby, Chester, Llandrindod Wells and Prestatyn and of course, our newest online location, which is brilliant. I just want to say thank you to Tim and Emily, Anthony, Erold and Klara, Rob and Roger for everything that they have done and are doing for us as a church family within this difficult and challenging season. They have gone above and beyond in making sure that we’re all cared for, that we are fed the Word week in, week out and that we’ve stayed connected with each other. It’s just brilliant. So thank you so much – we honour you and we love you and we continue to pray for you for good strength, wisdom and guidance, and of course good health as we continue our Festival journey throughout 2021. Thank you so much lead pastors, you’re awesome.
Well today is my privilege and such an honour to bring God’s Word to you this morning and I’m thankful for the opportunity for that and what a great first month we’ve had. A great series we’ve gone through on steadfast and a great verse of scripture in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 58 and it says:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.1 Corinthians 15:58
What a great piece of Scripture to start us off, to bring us into this year of 2021 and I just give thanks to Tim who brought us a great message on being immovable and being steadfast in our lives and being immovable in our faith in this season, which is great. So we’re going to touch on a few of those points a bit further on this morning but before I do that I just want to pray to open your heart, open your mind and let’s get ready to hear from God this morning.
Father we just thank you for your love and your grace and your mercy that is new to us every day. Father, I pray as we log in online this morning, as we watch online service Lord, that you would just speak to us, maybe in a brand-new way today. Lord, I pray that you’ll open our hearts, let our hearts be sponges for what you want to fill us with. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Okay church, let’s do this. In my life, and certainly over the last six or 7 weeks, specifically over the Christmas period and Christmas break that the team had, God really planted on my heart the word patience. Patience is obviously a very big word. I really felt like God wants to teach me and my family patience this year because, quite honestly, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, I can be quite an impatient person. When it comes to waiting for things or sometimes when it comes to people, I can be quite impatient with them too. But that’s okay because we’re human and we have a God that forgives us in Jesus name. But you know what the definition of patience is:
The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
I think I could do with a little bit more patience this year, in this season, I think we can all do with that as well. If you think that this is a time where maybe the questions seem too many and answers are too few, well please don’t lose courage, trust your heart to the Lord. He knows what He’s doing and He knows exactly what He’s doing for His good and for His glory. We just have to be patient in this time. So as I said, the word patience is a word that I believe God has put on my heart for me and my family for 2021 and maybe for you too. God wants to produce patience in us to slow us down and just believe. Tim mentioned a couple of weeks ago, that’s all we need to do. We just need to go back to the basics and just believe in the one that God has sent and that is Jesus. To show us how to trust in Him, that’s all we need to do, we need to slow down and believe so that He will show us how to trust in Him. God does not test us just for the sake of testing us. He tests us to teach us to walk in His ways and to trust in Him and it’s all a part of being children of God. Tim brought us a great message on us being children of God, we are His sons and daughters and God isn’t testing us for the sake of testing us, He tests us to teach us to walk in His ways and that we would trust in Him in everything that we do. Patience.
Why don’t we look at some good examples in the Bible where we see real patience that could encourage us today and tomorrow and so on. Who showed patience in the Bible? Well, the obvious one is Job. We’ve all heard the saying of “Have you got the patience of Job” or “you need the patience of Job”. I remember my mum and dad saying “Oh, I need the patience of Job with you James”. Full name of course. Job inspires us even today as Christians who face times of struggle and suffering and difficulties. No matter what happens we are called to follow Job’s example. We patiently serve and worship the Lord. We need to serve Him patiently and worship Him. Remember that our God is full of compassion and full of mercy.
Joseph, another good example. We all know that Joseph had to wait 13 years before his prophetic dreams were fulfilled. During that time he went through trials and tribulations. Through 13 years he faced so many challenges, so many trials and went through tribulations, but throughout it all he knew that God was with him through it all. He knew that God was with him through it all.
The women of God who showed good patience, people like Rachel. Rachel waited 7 years to have a child, of course that was Joseph. Hannah waited 3 years to have a child, but in the waiting she was tormented. Her patience with people was tested but Hannah was a great woman of patience.
Another great and inspiring example is Abraham. He was patient and waited 25 years before God’s promises were fulfilled in him. When I was reading the story of Abraham, I really felt that the phrase “with longevity, comes reward”. If we show patience in the longevity, we will be blessed and God will reward us in that waiting.
Another great example would be Moses. Moses wandered the desert for 40 years, 40 years, four decades in a journey that should have lasted 11 days. Just 11 days until he got the promised land that God had for him. He had to wait 40 years for the promised land. He waited for the promise through decades, absolute decades. Four decades, could you imagine going through that for decades? He was obedient. There we go. He was obedient. We need to be obedient people because he was courageous through his patience. Moses was obedient and courageous through his patience. We have to journey through seasons like this, through challenging situations and circumstances with patience. That’s what God is really telling me at this time that we need to journey this through with patience. We can’t be losing patience with our family, our brothers and sisters, our children when you’re homeschooling or with your kids losing patience with you because you’re getting frustrated with them. We need to have patience. The patience of Job, the patience of Abraham, Moses and Rachel and Hannah and Joseph. We need to have patience with each other and we have to journey through with so much patience. Maybe that’s not the way to live our lives anymore, maybe it’s a generational thing. We know that we can find things out almost instantly in this day and age. We can say “Google can you find so and so”. And then almost within seconds, in fact it’s at the top of your page, it tells you how quick it finds a page for you to find an answer for these days. That’s almost instant. Well actually, I think that God is calling us in this season to be much more patient so that we can hear from Him and put our trust in Him.
Another great example of someone who showed patience is Paul, you could say that he experienced a similar situation as us, some sort of house of house arrest or lockdown. You know, of course, Paul was in prison but he showed so much patience. In his patience, he wrote the epistles or the letters like Ephesians, Colossians and 2 Timothy, etc… In that time he knew God was with him and, ultimately, God was speaking to him in that time. So in our patience, we need to listen to God. Listen to Him in your patience. Wow. You just never know, like I said earlier on, sometimes we need to slow down and just believe and say God what you got to say today and listen to him in your patience.
Let me quickly recap those points. He knew God was with him through it all, I know that God is with us through this season. With longevity, comes reward. Let’s be obedient to him. Let’s listen to him in our patience and we have to journey through this whole season with patience like never before and listen to him in your patience.
Now there are a few Bible verses that I’ve come up with or come across during my study as I was preparing for this word. There were lots of them and I’m not going to bombard you with Scripture upon Scripture today because I’m sure you can go and look yourselves in the Word, but I’m going to share one or two verses that really stood out for me and one of them is James chapter 1 verse 2-4 from the Passion Translation:
My fellow believers when it seems as though you’re facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy you can. You. See it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy you can for. you know that when your faith is tested, it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. James 1:2-4 TPT
Endure all things and then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there’s nothing missing and nothing lacking. It says in the the new King James version:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2 NKJV
Some of us may be facing various trials right now, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Your faith produces patience. With Jesus, with God, we lack nothing.
Then let me go to the book of Romans Chapter 5 verse 3-5 in the ESV version, and it says:
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:2-5 ESV
Amazing, I love that. Knowing that suffering produces endurance or you could say knowing that suffering produces patience and patience, produces character and character produces hope. Thank you Lord. That is so encouraging that we can hold on to the truth of these Scriptures that have been written for us.
One last piece of scripture, I want to share with you is this. This really inspired me and it’s from the paraphrase of the Message Translation and it says this:
It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way. Hebrews 10:39 MSG
Now, in just those few small lines, a few scriptures, what I got from that was: Be patient. Don’t quit and trust Him all the way, all the days of your life. Yes, we as humans, we do sometimes just want to throw the towel in. We do sometimes want to quit and walk away. But let me encourage you today, be patient in this season. Don’t quit. Don’t quit with your homeschooling. Keep going, do what you can and that’s the most important. If you do your best, God will do the rest. That’s a phrase I use quite often, the youth will know that. You know we just need to put all of our trust in Him and be patient and journey through ready to listen to Him so that He can show us how to be more and more like Him in our patience.
Why do I encourage you with this message this morning? Just a few nights ago I was doing the final thoughts and preparations for this message today. A verse from an old hymn that my Nain, or my grandma – and she is a heroine of the faith, I love my Nain so much and many of you who are watching know who my Nain is and and she’s the best. If I ever want to know anything about the Bible, in any shape or form, who do I phone first? It’s usually her because she knows Scripture inside out. She’s just brilliant and amazing. This verse from an old hymn:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives
Be patient everyone. Don’t quit, trust in Him because He lives we can face tomorrow. Let me pray for you.
Father. We just thank you for your Word. We thank you for who you are. We thank you that you are for us and not against us. Lord we thank you that you live inside of us and because of that we can face tomorrow. Lord I pray as we go on about our days Lord that sometimes when we just feel like things are getting on top of us, we just need to say stop and just believe, fix our eyes upon you and be patient through this season and say Lord speak to me, help me. Lord, you are for us and not against us. Lord, I thank you that we can look to you at any time, any day. Lord I thank you that you are a forgiving God, that you just love us completely and you send your Holy Spirit to live within us. God, Father, I pray that you fill us afresh today with your love and your Holy Spirit. Lord, I pray that this week, as we go on about our day to day life, that we’ll just remember you at the beginning of the day. Tune in to you first thing we do every morning. We just thank you that you are with us, that you are for us and not against us. Bless us today, pour out your favour upon us. Lord, teach us to be patient in our ways so that we can trust in you more and more, in Jesus name, Amen.
Remember everyone, be patient this week as you live your day to day life, we love you, God loves you, keep being awesome. God bless.